Things to do in Rome

Catch a Glimpse of Ancient Rome from the Top of Palatine Hill

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The Palatine Hill has long been a part of Rome's history and is known for its incredible archaeological discoveries. It holds a special place in Roman mythology because, according to legend, it was where Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome, were discovered. Since then, the Palatine Hill has been revered as a sacred site by Romans.

Know Before You Go

Handy information

⏰ Suggested Duration:2-3 hours
☀️ Best Time to Visit:Early morning or late afternoon
🎟️ Priority Access to Colosseum + the Palatine Hill: €22
😍 Special Access Tour of the Colosseum + the Palatine Hill:€50

Opening Hours

  • Monday to Sunday: 09:00 AM to 04:30 PM
  • It may be open until 07:00 PM depending on the season
  • Closed on 25 December and 1 January

Things to know

  • Flavian Palace
  • Stadium of Domitian
  • Hut of Romulus
  • House of Augustus
  • House of Livia

Getting There

00186 Rome, Metropolitan City of Rome Capital, Italy
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What is the Palatine Hill?

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The Palatine Hill in Rome is among the famous ‘Seven Hills of Rome’ – the hills next to the Tiber River where ancient settlements developed and gradually joined together to form the great city of Rome. The Palatine is one of the hills that is closest to the river and is traditionally known as the founding site of Rome.

Palatine Hill is a significant part of the main archaeological area of ancient Rome and is sitting next to the Colosseum and the Roman Forum. The hill is filled with fascinating archaeological ruins, and admission to the Palatine hill is included in a combined Forum/Colosseum ticket.

What is Special About the Palatine Hill?

Palatine Hill has played a pivotal role in foundation of ancient Rome. In Roman mythology, this hill is believed to be the site where the legendary brothers Romulus and Remus - sons of Mars and Rhea Silvia - were discovered by the she-wolf that raised them. It is also said that Romulus & Remus went on to found Rome upon this very hill after a conflict with this brother ( Remus wanted to found the city on Aventine Hill ). This story has come to symbolize the founding of Rome, and it remains an important part of its history and culture.

Today, Palatine Hill is home to some of the most important archaeological sites in Rome, including remains of imperial palaces and temples. Its importance in Roman history makes it a popular destination for tourists and historians alike, as they explore the ruins that remain from ancient Rome. The Palatine Hill stands as a reminder of the city's storied past, and its significance will continue to be celebrated for years to come.

What to See at the Palatine Hill

Palace of Emperor Augustus

The Palace of Emperor Augustus is symbolic of an important transition in Roman history when the Palatine transformed itself from a residential plateau into the seat of imperial power. The house holds immense archaeological, political, and artistic significance that is now witnessed by visitors every day, thanks to decades of conservation work. All the wall paintings and mosaics illuminate the life of the emperor and give insight into the contemporary Roman world. The restoration of the Palace of Emperor Augustus is part of a long-term plan to reinvigorate the entire Palatine Hill.

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Arch of Titus

Built soon after the death of Emperor Titus Flavius, the Arch of Titus commemorates the Roman triumph, given to Emperor Vespasian and to Titus, his son, and heir for the victory in the Jewish war. The reliefs on the arch show scenes from Titu’s victory in Jerusalem. The arch consists of panels that depict the triumphal procession that was celebrated in 71 AD after the Roman victory and provides one of the few contemporary depictions of artefacts of Herod’s Temple.

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Temple of Apollo

The Temple of Apollo was built at the height of Greek civilization in the second half of the 5th century BC and was dedicated to Apollo Epicurius by the Phigaleians. They believed that the god of the sun and healing had protected them from invasion and plague. The temple occupied the most important and prominent position in the Delphic Panhellenic Sanctuary. The famous oracle, the Pythia, was inside the temple, the location was chosen, as per tradition, due to a sacred chasm beneath the site emitting vapours that were inhaled by the Pythia.

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House of Livia

Augustus and his wife Livia had houses beside one another on the Palatine. Both the houses were elaborately decorated with frescoes and mosaics and many of which remain. In the House of Augustus, you can spot the emperor’s private study where he wrote his autobiography, The Deeds of the Divine Augustus. The house of emperor Augustus and his wife are situated in the Palatine Hill complex and can be visited by purchasing tickets separately. The frescoes within are well-preserved and are admirable.

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The Lupercal Cave

The Lupercal was a cave situated at the southwest foot of the Palatine Hill, located between the temple of Magna Mater and the Sant’Anastasia al Palatino. While discovering Rome, Romulus and Remus were found there by the she-wolf who took them till they were rescued by the shepherd Faustulus. Luperci, the priests of Faunus, celebrated various ceremonies of the Lupercalia at the cave, from the earliest days of the city till 494 AD.

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Palatine Hill Tickets - Guided Tours

Getting There

Timings and Hours

The Roman Forum and Palatine Hill are open year round. The gates are open from 08:30 AM until an hour before sunset.

Getting There

The Palatine Hill can be reached from the Roman Forum by taking a left after the Arch of Titus, once you have entered the Forum from the Colosseum side. If you have entered the Forum from Via dei Fori Imperiali, you will see the Palatine large over the Forum, beyond the House of the Vestals.

The best place to enter the Palatine is from Via di San Gregorio, situated just behind the Colosseum. The advantage of this entrance is that there are fewer steps to climb.

If you are opting for public transportation, the closest Metro stop is Colosseum on the B Line. The 75 bus runs from Termini Station and stops next to the Via di San Gregorio entrance. Trams 3 and 8 stop on the east end of the Colosseum and are a short walk to the Palatine entrance.

Palatine Hill Facts

  • Palatine Hill is a four-sided plateau, rising 131 feet south of the Forum in Rome and 168 feet above sea level. It has a circumference of 5,700 feet.
  • Emperor Domitian, from the Flavian Dynasty, built one of the largest palatial complexes on Palatine Hill.
  • As per Roman mythology, the Palatine Hill was a location of the cave, known as Lupercal, where Romulus and Remus were found by a she-wolf Lupa that kept them alive.
  • Founded in the 2nd half of the 19th century, the Antiquarium exhibits fragments of frescoes, sculptures, and archaeological material found on the hill. The Palatine Museum is situated in the former Monastery of the Visitation, built on the remains of Domitian’s palace.

Insider Tips

  • Carry sunscreen & a waterbottle if you're travelling to Rome in the summer months; it gets hot!
  • Book your tickets to the destination online to move faster through the queues.
  • From atop the Palatine Hill, you'll get the best view of .
  • The entire complex is free for visitors on the first Sunday of the month; it will be crowded though!
  • Make sure you wear good walking shoes as the pathways to cement sidewalks and the roads tend to be uneven.
  • Pack some snacks! There aren't a lot of shops or restaurants inside the historical complex.


What is the Palatine Hill?

The Palatine Hill is known as the birthplace of ancient Rome and is said to have been inhabited since 1000 B.C. Roman citizens during the Republican era belonging to the upper class had settled in the Palatine Hill and built sumptuous palaces.

Where is the Palatine Hill located?

The Palatine Hill is situated 40 metres above the Roman Forum and is the most central of the seven hills of Rome, forming one of the oldest regions of the city. 

How long has the Palatine Hill been standing?

Since the beginning of the Empire (27 BC) Augustus had built his palace and the hill gradually became the exclusive domain of emperors.

What type of activities were conducted on the Palatine Hill in the ancient times?

During the Middle Ages, a lot of churches and convents were built on the hill, and in the Renaissance and the Farnese family had used portions of the Palatine for their private botanical gardens. After their era, the Palatine was left untouched, until it was opened to the public as an archaeological site.

Are there any monuments still remaining on the Palatine Hill?

A lot of ruins can be discovered on Palatine Hill, including the Stadium of Domitian and the Flavian Palace.

What can be seen at the Palatine Hill today?

Today, the Palatine Hill is a great archaeological site, where you can discover the ruins of the Flavian Palace as well as the Stadium of Domitian, along with the legendary Hut of Romulus.

Are there any guided tours available of the Palatine Hill?

Yes, guided tours of the Palatine Hill are available. There isn’t much information on display around the attraction, and visitors tend to wander around. By going on a guided tour, you can make the most of your visit as you will get an insight into the history and architecture of the place. 

The Palatine Hill Guide